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The NFX Podcast

Author: NFX, Jed Kolko, Twilio, Pete Flint., Jeff Lawson, Dave Packard, HP

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We believe creating something of true significance starts with seeing things others do not.
73 Episodes
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This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. Alongside our latest NFX Essay "The Hidden World of Pricing: Uber, Trulia, Etsy, Superhuman & More with Madhavan Ramanujam", we decided to release multiple supplemental pricing articles on The Founders' List. David Skok joined Matrix Partners as a General Partner in May 2001. He has a wealth of experience running companies. David started his first company in 1977 at age 22. Since then David has founded a total of four separate companies and performed one turn-around. Three of these companies went public. This post looks at how to create scalable pricing using multiple pricing axes, and discusses the different types of axes that can be used. David's featured article in this episode: - Scalable Pricing: A Key Tool For SaaS Success Read the full NFX pricing essay here - https://www.nfx.com/post/the-hidden-world-of-pricing/
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. Alongside our latest NFX Essay "The Hidden World of Pricing: Uber, Trulia, Etsy, Superhuman & More with Madhavan Ramanujam", we decided to release multiple supplemental pricing articles on The Founders' List. This is a two-part episode including two essays from Tomasz Tunguz (Venture Capitalist at Redpoint). He is also a board member of Looker, ERPLY, Electric imp, inc., AxialMarket, Quantifind, Expensify, and more. Prior to joining Redpoint, Tomasz was the product manager for Google's social media monetization team, including the Google-MySpace partnership. Tomasz's featured articles in this episode: - Ten Years Worth of Learnings About Pricing - There are Only 3 Pricing Strategies for Your Startup Read the full NFX pricing essay here - https://www.nfx.com/post/the-hidden-world-of-pricing/
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. Alongside our latest NFX Essay "The Hidden World of Pricing: Uber, Trulia, Etsy, Superhuman & More with Madhavan Ramanujam", we decided to release supplemental pricing articles on The Founders' List. Sean Ellis is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and startup advisor. He is the CEO of GrowthHackers and was previously founder and CEO of Qualaroo, an automated user research tool. He attended the University of California, Davis and graduated in 1994. "An optimal price allows the startup to grow at the fastest possible rate by maximizing profitable investments in customer acquisition programs and/or offering a free version to drive broad user adoption." Sean's featured article in this episode: - How to Determine the Optimal Price for Your Web Service Read the full NFX pricing essay here - https://www.nfx.com/post/the-hidden-world-of-pricing/
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. Alongside our latest NFX Essay "The Hidden World of Pricing: Uber, Trulia, Etsy, Superhuman & More with Madhavan Ramanujam", we decided to release supplemental pricing articles on The Founders' List. Ash Maurya is the author of Running Lean and the creator of the one-page business modelling tool Lean Canvas. His posts and advice have been featured in Inc., Forbes, and Fortune. He regularly hosts sold out workshops around the world and serves as a mentor to several accelerators including TechStars, MaRS, and Capital Factory. He serves on the advisory board of a number of startups and has consulted to new and established companies. Author, creator of Lean Canvas, and founder of LEANSTACK. Ash's featured article in this episode: - My Experiments in Lean Pricing Read the full NFX pricing essay here - https://www.nfx.com/post/the-hidden-world-of-pricing/
Madhavan Ramanujam is a legendary “pricing whisperer” among tech unicorns including Trulia, Etsy, Uber, Amazon, Evernote, and more. He is the author of 'Monetizing Innovation' and a partner at Simon-Kucher. Today, Madhavan and Pete (General Partner at NFX) are sharing the frameworks, tactics, and hidden truths Founders need to know about pricing - and how, when done correctly, it can dramatically lever-up growth. Madhavan and Pete discuss topics in the pricing world like how: - Pricing is a blindspot for startups. - How to Test Willingness-to-Pay - Acceptable, Expensive, or Prohibitively Expensive? - How To Think About Pricing During Extreme Swings - What to do when customer demand is spiking - What to do when you are losing demand - Think creatively about value and market share in a downturn - How You Charge > How Much You Charge - Five Monetization Models That Work, Time And Time Again - Subscription - Dynamic Pricing - Market-Based Pricing - Freemium - Why 72% of Attempts to Monetize Innovation Fail - The 4 Ways Your Monetization Fails - Feature Shock - Minivation - Hidden Gems - Undead - Frameworks for Avoiding Monetizing Innovation Failures - P.S. Pricing Principles Applied to Life Madhavan also walks us through some never before heard pricing case studies on companies he's worked with like: - Etsy - Uber - Amazon - Evernote
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. Originally written under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s original white paper titled 'Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System' was released over 12 years ago. Considered the most seminal piece of work in the cryptocurrency movement, the Bitcoin White Paper outlines blockchain technology and the entire decentralized revolution. The content of this 9-page document incited what can only be described as a revolution in the world of fintech. More relevantly, Bitcoin’s white paper laid out an inspiring new definition of money at a time when faith in the traditional financial system was still being salvaged. Satoshi launched the first Bitcoin client in early 2009 and then handed the project off to the community in 2010, where it has since thrived as the open-source of study, work, and fascination for millions across the globe. Today we bring this infamous memo to The Founders' List so you have a chance to listen to his original outline of such a world-changing idea. Examining the white paper origins is a great exercise in understanding why Bitcoin has the influence it has in today's world. Satoshi Nakamoto’s blueprint is the official “birth certificate” of Bitcoin. Read the white paper here - https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
This is The Founders’ List – audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. In 1960, David Packard gave an informal speech to the managers at HP that wasn’t intended for the public to hear. The speech resurfaced during the merger talks between Hewlett-Packard and Compaq. Packard addressed the overarching question of 'why HP exists' and shares insights on how to manage effectively, financial responsibility, and much more for someone to absorb and have a successful career. You can find his speech in the book, 'The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company'.
Jeff Lawson, software developer turned CEO of Twilio, creates a new playbook for unleashing the full potential of software developers in any organization, showing how to help management utilize this coveted and valuable workforce to enable growth, solve a wide range of business problems, and drive digital transformation. General Partner at NFX Pete Flint talks with Jeff about his new book, his Twilio Founder Journey, running a public company through a recession, decision frameworks, and much more. Jeff's new book is released on Tuesday, January 12th and discusses how to use the creativity of code to solve business problems. Developers are the creative workforce who can solve major business problems and create hit products for customers — not just grind through rote tasks. The landscape has shifted from the classic build vs. buy question to one of build vs. die. Companies have to get this right to survive. But how do they make this transition? Read more about Jeff's book here - https://www.askyourdeveloper.com/ Follow Jeff on Twitter here - https://twitter.com/jeffiel
Few people can see what Jed sees about the relationship between real estate and labor markets and the downstream effects of their recent untethering. And, ultimately, what this means for startup life after the pandemic. Now, and in the years to come, Founders will need to design their startup teams in all-new ways. Today is the beginning of building a new playbook for startup life. NFX General Partner Pete Flint talks with Jed to uncover this unbundling, covering key shifts like: - Unemployment Kickstarting Dislocation - The Continued Unbundling Of Where You Live And Where You Work - Commercial Real Estate, Reimagined - The Transportation Spiral - Cities Changing From Centers of Production to Destinations of Consumption - & New Considerations For Where To Live Jed is currently the Chief Economist at Indeed, the world’s largest online jobs site. Previously he was Chief Economist and VP of Analytics at Trulia, the online real estate site. Follow Jed on Twitter here - https://twitter.com/JedKolko
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. The following is a reenactment of an email conversation between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom about Facebook's acquisition of Instagram between the dates of March 20th and April 9th of 2012. They discuss concerns, how their pathways cross, and how the potential acquisition will benefit both companies in the long-run. Mark Zuckerberg - "I'm glad we got a chance to talk yesterday. I appreciate the open style you have for working through these issues. It makes me want to work with you even more. I was thinking about our conversation some more and wanted to share a few more thoughts..."
Founded in January 2013, Lightricks is a company that develops video and image editing mobile apps, known particularly for its selfie-editing app, Facetune. Headquartered in Jerusalem, the firm has over 250 employees. As of 2019, its apps have been downloaded over 180 million times and have over 3 million paying subscribers. Zeev Farbman co-founded Lightricks along with Nir Pochter, Yaron Inger, Amit Goldstein and Itai Tsiddon. In July of 2019, Lightricks announced that it has raised $135 million in Series C financing round at a $1 billion valuation bringing Lightricks’ total funding to $205 million to date. Farbman received his PhD from Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Computer Science. In his spare time, he practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Today NFX General Partner Gigi Levy-Weiss talks with Zeev about growing a Billion Dollar Company as a ”top layer” on other platforms, company leadership & navigation, and product strategy. They also discuss the future of content, what's trending now, and the possibilities in the near future.
Erik Torenberg is an entrepreneur, investor, and most importantly a community builder. NFX General Partner James Currier connects with Erik on the intricacies of building online & offline communities, behavioral psychology of users, and useful tactics/frameworks for early-stage Founders to consider when building their company. Erik is originally from New Jersey and studied economics at the University of Michigan. investments His portfolio includes Rappi, Scale, Nurx, Lattice, Omni, Long-Term Stock Exchange, Winnie, Carrot, Kite, Cover, and ~80 more. He is a son of Israeli and Colombian immigrants and has worked to invest in those ecosystems as well. He was on the founding team of Product Hunt and hosts his podcast show, 'Venture Stories'. His latest venture outside of being Co-Founder & Partner at Village Global is called The On Deck Fellowship (ODF). The ODF is a 10-week virtual program where you'll have access to a network of 200+ talented founders from all over the world who are all in the early stages of working on their next company. Erik's love for community building and connecting humans is world-class and beneficial for Founders everywhere.
Founders rarely get to hear the inside story of building a massive marketplace business from idea to IPO. Today we analyze the core startup decisions you need to make in the early days about your market, product, pricing and customers — and how those early decisions define your roadmap for the next 10 years or more. Today NFX General Partner Gigi Levy-Weiss sits down and has a conversation with Micha Kaufman, the Founder and CEO of Fiverr (FVRR). Fiverr’s stock price has soared since their 2019 IPO — posting an impressive 797% growth since last year — but this conversation makes evident that their DNA for success was set from day one. Micha gives us access to the early days at Fiverr and what startup lessons he learned while leading one of the world’s biggest marketplaces, including: When You’re Told The Idea Is Too Crazy To Work A 3-Part Framework For Finding The Right Market Fiverr’s Epiphany: Productizing Services Reverse Your Storytelling In Order To Build The Best v1 Supply Generates Demand: The Fiverr Law of Business Doing The Opposite Of What You’re Told For A Go-To-Market Strategy Keeping “Startup Speed” Even As A Public Company & more This is a tremendous resource for early-stage Founders everywhere as they make key decisions that will set their startups into motion. Read the essay here - https://www.nfx.com/post/fiverr-road-to-growth/
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. From the outside, it's hard to understand what's going on at Tesla. Here are 10 quick examples of advice centered around the Model 3 production bottleneck pulled from real internal emails sent by Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. Topics include: - Always Start With The Good - Challenge, Demand, But Always Offer Help - Production only Moves as Fast as the Least Lucky - Don’t Be 10% Better, Be 10x Better, Seriously - Encourage Customers to Bring Out the Measuring Tape - If Molehills Turn to Mountains, Follow the Money Train - If You Can’t Explain it to A Five Year Old, You Don’t Understand it Well Enough - It Must Be Ok For People To Talk Directly And Just Make The Right Thing Happen - It Is Not Rude To Leave, It Is Rude To Make Someone Stay And Waste Their Time - Hold Contractors to the Same Standards of Your Employees "Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved. Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”
In this candid conversation with iconic tech thinker Kevin Kelly (founding Editor of Wired), we discuss inspirational and transformative advice for early-stage Founders reflecting on the work they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how it all adds up in the long term. Kevin and NFX General Partner James Currier talk about: “You want to work on something that nobody has a name for.” You don’t just want to be the best -- you want to be the only. This applies to the companies you start, the projects you tackle, as well as to how you live your life. “It’s fine to focus on scaling a wall, but you need to make sure your ladder is leaning against the right wall.” Transforming from short-term founder to long-term steward is a mental shift that many Founders need to start making. “If you operate on a longer term perspective you have an advantage because everyone else is completely short sighted.” Why Wired? What was the reason for it to exist? We need to listen to the technology to see how people actually use it vs. how it was invented. Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor for its first seven years. His most recent book is called The Inevitable, and is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. He is also founding editor of the popular Cool Tools website, which has been reviewing tools daily since 2003. Every Sunday, he and the Cool Tools team mail out Recomendo, a free one-page list of 6 very brief recommendations of cool stuff.
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. "Becoming indistractable requires an understanding of why you lose focus and learning the skills to do as you say. This guide is for people who want to harness the power of focus, but don’t have a lot of time. The more we respond to external triggers, the more we train our brain in a neverending stimulus-response loop." This is the audio version of Nir Eyal's focus guide, 'How To Make The Most Out Of Your Time And Your Life'. By reimagining a task, you can make anything more enjoyable and intrinsically rewarding because in our digital age, it's very difficult to “muster enough energy” to stay focused. Nir is a former instructor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and author of the bestseller, “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.” 2013 His latest book, “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life,” 2019 is out now. Check out his website and content at - https://www.nirandfar.com/
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. 'Thoughts on Flash' is an open letter published by Steve Jobs, Co-Founder and then-CEO of Apple Inc. on April 29, 2010. The letter criticized Adobe Systems' Flash platform and outlined reasons why the technology would not be allowed on the company's iOS hardware products, specifically iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Now it's available to listen to on The Founders' List. Read the full memo here - https://www.nfx.com/post/founders-list-steve-jobs
We all think we know how our users behave. It turns out, we don’t. Founders over-index on rational assumptions, but users most often behave irrationally. Behavioral economics, by contrast, is the practice of truly seeing your users' emotions, beliefs, and habits. This kind of vision is critically missing from product design at most startups. In this episode, NFX General Partner Gigi talks with Dan Ariely -- the world’s top expert in behavioral economics and a renowned professor at Duke -- as he breaks down the most common types of irrational user behavior and shares frameworks for predicting how your users will actually behave.
Can your company be a Billion-dollar business? When we look inside the early days of companies like Stripe, Airbnb, Coinbase, Instacart & Square, what are the patterns that may shed light on how great Founders beat incredible odds? In this episode of the NFX podcast, Elad Gil — one of the world's top angel investors in an astonishing number of Billion-dollar companies (Airbnb, Airtable, Anduril, Brex, Checkr, Coinbase, Flexport, Gitlab, Gusto, Instacart, Opendoor, PagerDuty, Pinterest, Samsara, Square, Stripe, & Wish) and cofounder of ColorGenomics— joins NFX partner James Currier to unearth what makes certain Founders and teams exponentially better. Together they examine the counterintuitive -- and often contrarian -- patterns that he has observed in many of the world’s best known Billion-dollar companies and their decision frameworks along the way. NFX Essay - https://www.nfx.com/post/unusual-signs-billion-dollar-companies Elad's Twitter - https://twitter.com/eladgil
This is The Founders' List - audio versions of essays from technology’s most important leaders, selected by the founder community. Longtime Googler Steve Yegge posted an insightful rant on his Google+ page about how Google is failing to make platforms for its products. He also shares some interesting little tidbits about his six-year stint at Amazon working for the 'Dread Pirate Bezos'. The rant was intended to be shared only with his Google coworkers, but was accidentally made public. Read the full memo here - https://gist.github.com/chitchcock/1281611
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